Author: August Clarke
As time goes on, we sometimes find that things we once loved just don’t make us happy anymore. And that’s okay! Many people turn their noses up at the prospect of leaving an activity or pastime that they have dedicated a lot of time to because of the negative connotations surrounding the word “quitting.” However, when it comes down to it, your wellbeing is more important than sticking around doing something that has become a drain on your mental health.
I know a lot of people that have been involved in highly competitive sports like swim racing or dance who have stopped competing in recent years due to the strain that it put on them. The pressure of performing to the highest possible degree and having to physically and mentally alter themselves in order to do so took a major hit to their self-esteem. Furthermore, I know that some of my friends found it stressful having to balance studying and working on top of attending hours and hours of practices every week.
This isn’t exclusive to sports but could apply to any activity you may do, like theatre, piano or yearbook club, to name a few. Of course, many people are able to continue these activities and still enjoy them, regardless of the challenges that come with it. However, if pressure to continue an activity begins to outweigh your passion for it, it may be time to ask yourself a few questions.
1. Why Am I Doing This?
Are you doing something because you are passionate about it and it makes you happy and you genuinely like it? Or are you doing it because you’ve been doing it since you were nine and you feel pressured to continue? Maybe you feel as though you’re letting down your parents or your teammates or your coach/instructor if you quit. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to ask yourself whether you are doing something for yourself or to please someone else.
Ask yourself: Am I doing this because it makes me happy, or because it makes someone else happy?
2. Will Stepping Away From This Make Me Happier?
If you are feeling stressed out or down on yourself and think you may have identified the cause, then it is time to consider your next steps. Sometimes, in order to take care of yourself, the best option may be to step away from something that you previously loved.
Doing so can be intimidating, but sometimes we need a break and a little change to help us deal with whatever is going on in our lives. That doesn’t mean that, if you play badminton, you should never touch another racket or birdie again, but maybe it means that you should take a break from a club for a while and limit yourself to the school team instead.
At the end of the day, you should do what’s best for YOU, not anybody else.
If something isn’t making you happy anymore, you don’t need to feel guilty about taking a break from it, or even “quitting.” There is nothing shameful in giving yourself a chance to breathe and try something new.